how to choose your kitefoil

HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR KITEFOIL

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE PURCHASING A FOIL

The foil requires a minimum of technique and control, it is strongly recommended for this sport to have an intermediate level of kitesurfing before starting foiling. It will be difficult for kitesurf beginners to start right away on a foil. You have to know how to navigate on a directional board and have a good command of your wing especially with a low wind. An average of 2 to 3 lessons will be necessary to acquire the basis of foiling.

Warning: Foiling is a sport that requires precautions. If you are a beginner, we strongly recommend wearing a helmet and a protective vest.

So many foils are on the market, it’s easy to get lost while searching for one. Here are some tips to guide you in the purchase of a foil.  The K-foil is a scalable kitefoil. All its parts are modular and interchangeable.

 

THE FOIL’S CONSTRUCTION

THE CHOICE OF MATERIALS

FOAM FOIL OR 100% CARBON?

The 100% carbon offers several advantages: it is stronger, durable over time and does not laminate contrary to the wings in foams, which are light but delaminate easily in case of an impact. At Sroka, we have chosen a foam-free construction, our mast, front and rear wings are 100% carbon.

ALUMINIUM

Different quality of aluminum exist on the market but do not equal themselves. Today, the best aluminum on the market is the T6061 thanks to its high resistance to seawater, its rigidity and the fact that it doesn’t scratch easily. The quality of aluminium from Germany is far better than the one from Eastern Europe, where aluminium is made from items that are difficult to trace. Because we are looking for the best quality, we made all our foils out of aluminium from Germany.

Anodisation (low range 10microns, medium range 20microns and high range 60microns) also plays an important role in the quality of the foil.

How to differentiate different types of anodisation? Easy! A high range anodisation will be easy to spot because it has a matte finish while a low range anodisation will have a shiny finish.

Difference between hard and light anodisation

FUSELAGE

Although it is interesting to have a carbon foil thanks to its rigidity, the aluminium fuselage is more reliable. An aluminum fuselage will be more durable over time and will protect you from the problem of tearing inserts. At Sroka, we add a screw thread (helicoil) which allow to change it if it has been damaged.

 

THE PRACTICE OF THE  FOIL

THE SIZE OF THE MAST

Your level (beginner, intermediate, expert) will determine the length of the mast you must choose. The shorter, the easier it will be to begin with. It will be easier to position a short mast under the feet and it will forgive easier the errors of the beginner who is not very precise on its supports.

The best, to begin with, is to choose a mast between 70-80 cm or even 60 for those who struggle. While progressing, you will switch to a mast length between 90 and 100 cm in order to take more angles when going upwind. It will be easier with waves.

HOW IMPORTANT IS THE SIZE OF THE FRONT WING IN KITEFOIL

The surface of the front wing, its profile, its thickness and its outline have a great importance on the performance of the foil. The larger the surface with the profile thickness is, the more the foil will be tolerant but the foil will saturate very quickly in speed. On the other hand, the smaller the wing is, the faster the foil will be but this will require more technique. For beginners, we recommend starting with a front wing between 650 and 800 cm2. While progressing you can switch to a smaller wing to increase the performance.

WHICH BOARD?

There are different sizes of board. As a beginner, we advise you to choose a board with a great volume as the Sroka board 160 x52, volume means stability. In a light wind, a larger board will be easier to take off and allow you to generate a good speed, plus, you will avoid over power.

While progressing, you’ll want to change to a smaller board such as the 138 x 47 or 128 x 47 pocket that will allow you to reach a higher speed thanks to its lightweight and will be perfect for a strapless navigation.

STRAPS OR STRAPLESS?

Straps or strapless, the choice is yours. Although we recommend beginners to put the straps forward because they will be useful to position your body correctly on the board. Navigate strapless is a very specific practice and requires to be comfortable with foiling.

 

LEARN HOW TO KITEFOIL

THE TIPS OF BRUNO SROKA, 3x WORLD CHAMPION IN KITESURF

 

To begin in foil, choose a plan of water as flat as possible, between 10 and 15 knots of wind. Add 5 meters of line to your standard line length because the longer your lines are, the more the power will be constant in the wing, contrary to the short lines which mean fast and jerky movements.

Ideally, slightly go under-power and use the wing to get up on the board, then keep the board flat on the water, the goal is to generate speed by moving up-down the wing. Keep your center of gravity above the board and the foil to avoid generating unwanted movements. Do not lean on the back leg to try to rise the foil but rather load on the front leg to counter it. By accelerating and taking more horizontal speed, the foil will rise by itself. Always remember to re-load on the front leg. At first, it is better to make the foil touch every 15 meters, it will allow you to integrate this vertical dimension. The more you practice, the longer you will fly.

For safety reasons, avoid starting with offshore wind and going over power. Don’t start in a crowded place, it’s better to choose a spot where there are just a  few kitesurfers and be careful to stay away from the swimmers. The foil requires vigilance, never forget that from the moment you feel tired, it is better to stop not to lose your cautiousness.